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Kings vs. Pacers Preview: Can the Kings win without DeMarcus Cousins?

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento's lost four straight, will be without DeMarcus Cousins for the fourth straight game but there's reason for optimism.  Starting tonight with Indiana, the Kings face four straight opponents with losing records.  They'll have to take advantage, even without their best player for at least two of those games.  Tonight's action tips off at 7:00 pm  on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. The Kings are 0-14 in the Malone era without DeMarcus Cousins.  That streak has to end tonight or else we might have to start worrying.  The teams the Kings have lost to on this losing streak have been among the best in the NBA but now they're facing a stretch against some of the worst teams in the NBA.  The Pacers are on the second night of a back to back, are without two key starters in George Hill and Paul George and are just 3-7 on the road for the year.  The Kings have the talent to win this game and they need to protect homecourt.

2. Indiana's not a good team without George but they also just recently got David West back, so they're slightly better than their record would indicate.  West is their leading scorer at just 13.8 points a game, but they do have six players averaging 10 or more points and four more with over 7.  They also have a noted "Kings-killer" in Rodney Stuckey.  Stuckey averages 13.4 points a game for his career but 19.9 points against the Kings, way higher than against any other team.

3. Indiana is a very good rebounding team, both offensively and defensively.  Without DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings have shown that they aren't nearly as good on the boards.  Against the Raptors on Tuesday, the Kings gave up 11 crucial second chance points, which hurt immensely when trying to get back into the game.  The Kings will have to do their best to keep Indiana off the glass.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

David West vs. Jason Thompson

The Pacers don't have many offensive weapons, especially with Paul George out and Lance Stephenson no longer on the team.  David West is still formidable though, and he's one of the best mid-range shooting big men in the NBA in addition to being a good post player.  JT has done very well defensively this year, and it will be up to him to keep West in check so that Indiana's offense can't ever get going.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Nobody likes a losing streak,
or a virus making Boogie weak.
Let's end it tonight,
give Indy a fright,
or else this fanbase will freak.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Pacers 93 as Rudy Gay gets payback for Paul George's "Four Point Play" last year by exclusively making four point plays on each possession he shoots.